Below you will find the information and resources needed to apply for the PhD in Computer Science program and to take the next steps toward your education.
January 15: Fall admission. All application materials, including TOEFL and GRE results, must be received in the admissions office by February 28. International students cannot be admitted if materials are not received by the deadline.
September 15: Spring admission. All application materials, including TOEFL and GRE results, must be received in the admissions office by September 15. International students cannot be admitted if materials are not received by the deadline.
Admission to Graduate Study
An undergraduate degree is the minimal requirement for admission to graduate study. Students are admitted to a graduate program and granted one of the following three types of status:
- Full graduate status: when all admission requirements are met;
- Provisional graduate status: when some admission requirements are not (or inadequately) met;
- Special graduate status: to take specific graduate-level courses for one or more terms.
All students, except those with temporary status, must apply either to the MS program or to the PhD program. Please note that an MS degree is not required in order to apply to the PhD program. Students admitted to the MS program are eligible to complete the requirements for that degree. If they wish to transfer to the PhD program, they must apply to the admissions committee, which will make its decision based on the student’s performance in the MS program and on faculty recommendations.
Full Graduate Status
A student is admitted to a degree program with full graduate status if they have earned at least a BS degree, maintained a grade point average of at least B, and completed minimally a selection of courses in the following topical areas (the corresponding Pitt course numbers are indicated):
In Computer Science, one course in each of:
- Intermediate Programming (CS 0401)
- Discrete Structures (CS 0441)
- Information/Data Structures (CS 0445)
- Computer Organization/Assembly Language (CS 0447)
- Theory (CS 1510 or 1511)
- Languages (CS 1520 or 1621)
- Systems (CS 1550 or 1651)
In Mathematics, the following:
- The two-course calculus sequence (Math 0220, 0230)
- A course in linear algebra (Math 1180 or 0280)
- A course in probability and statistics, requiring calculus as prerequisite (Stat 1151, 1152)
The Department of Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh is open to applications from exceptional students transitioning to graduate study in Computer Science from other undergraduate fields. Transitional students with demonstrated computing aptitude, as evidenced by outstanding grades in at least 4 of the above required computer science courses, may be considered for admission to the graduate program. Admitted transitional students will enter with full graduate status, and will be advised closely by the Director of Graduate Study to ensure that they stay on track to complete their degree while also reinforcing their background knowledge.
Provisional Graduate Status
A student may be admitted to the MS degree program with provisional status if their qualifications are minimally deficient. Such students will be advanced to full graduate status after removal of the identified deficiencies. Students are expected to gain full graduate status by the time they complete 18 credits or, equivalently, one academic year of full-time graduate studies. Students with provisional status are not allowed to hold a teaching assistantship.
Special Graduate Status
This status allows a student to take graduate-level courses without enrolling in a graduate program. Special status is appropriate for a student who:
- Wants to take one or more specific courses for which they have the necessary qualifications;
- Has deficiencies (in background or low grades);
- Fails to meet the deadline for filing an official application for admission but has met all of the requirements for admission into a degree program with full graduate status.
A student interested in applying for such special status must first obtain written permission from the faculty member teaching the course of interest. Students are then required to fill out & submit an application for admission to special graduate status.
Application Instructions and Requirements
Applications for graduate study must be completed and submitted entirely online. You will be asked to set up a free account with the ApplyYourself Application Network, which enables you to work on your application over several sessions. Your information is transmitted through a secured server and is kept confidential until you submit your application.
We require you to upload copies of your undergraduate/graduate transcripts to ApplyYourself. We do not need official transcripts unless you are admitted.
We require at least three letters of recommendation, two of these must be from Professors (preferable with PhD’s), especially if you are applying for a PhD degree. ALL LETTERS MUST BE SUBMITTED ONLINE. No paper recommendation letters will be accepted.
Your application will be available for review by the department once all the evaluator’s letters are submitted and all the transcripts are uploaded.
We do require the GRE general exam although we do not have a minimum score requirement
The required minimum TOEFL score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in each of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing) will be required for applicants. The required minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections) will be required for applicants. If you do not meet the minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores, your application will not be considered for admission.
For material that must be sent to the department directly (such as GRE and TOEFL scores) our institution code is: 2927. A department code is no longer required.
Non-U.S. citizens applying to the graduate program will need the International Graduate Student Supplemental Application Packet if admitted. This will be e-mailed to you for completion if you are admitted.
Application Status and Inquiries
E-mail inquiries about Pitt’s graduate programs may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.